Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Due to server failure i would like to move a scsi ISA raid controler + 4 hard drives to another pc to recover the data inside them(raid 5). This raid isn´t a boot raid, there´s another raid holding the OS. So my question is can this be done?

And if yes how can i go around doing it. should i plug the controller first on the other pc that already has an operating system on it, install drivers for it and if everything is ok, plug in the drives? Or should i just plug the raid controller with the hard drives already connected, install drivers for it and hope after reboot all my files are there.

thanks in advance

share|improve this question
Am I right to assume you have no backups? Restoring from backup sounds much simpler, less error-prone and quicker! – Ben Pilbrow Oct 25 '10 at 19:34
Quicker? I doubt it. As the others have said, the raid controller should retain the information during the move. – Paul McMillan Oct 25 '10 at 19:46
ISA? Seriously? – Dennis Williamson Oct 25 '10 at 20:27
Do you even have another server with an ISA socket? (nvm I just read your comment below that you do. wow) – Mark Henderson Oct 25 '10 at 20:28

If the RAID stripe data is stored on the controller, which it usually is, then you should be able to just move the controller and drives as-is to another server and it should show the logical drive within Windows after the card is detected and installed. To make things easier, make sure the RAID controller doesn't show up in the list of bootable devices in the BIOS.

This is assuming the OS is Windows, of course.

share|improve this answer
+1, Also it's worth mentioning that older cards (like dinosaurs from the ISA days) generally store all the configuration info in the card itself. Newer cards (more and more) typically store all the data on the drives, the card retains very little or no data about the array. – Chris S Oct 26 '10 at 12:44

Assuming the following:

  • You can find another PC with an ISA slot
  • You can still install the OS the drivers go with

It should Just Work(tm). You're moving the card along with the drives so any metadata the card keeps on the drives will come along, and it'll still be able to read them.

share|improve this answer
great news :) and yes i do have an old (really old) pc with 3 ISA slots in it and windows on it. I just need a network adapter to move the data elsewhere afterwards because usb 1 just wont cut it. thanks – user58230 Oct 25 '10 at 20:14
@Johnny - 100Mbps ISA cards are exceptionally rare and incredibly expensive, so you'll be stuck with 10Mb, so it won't be that much faster than USB 1 ;) – Mark Henderson Oct 25 '10 at 20:29
Could always toss an IDE hard drive in there and drop it there... – DanBig Oct 25 '10 at 20:31
thanks for the heads up, but i also have pci slots on that old pc so i think i might be able to plug a regular 100Mbps network card in there. It´s just the raid controller that requires the ISA slot. And yes i think the IDE hardrive is my second option :) My main concern is actually seeing the data on the raids :/ – user58230 Oct 25 '10 at 20:40
we do have dailly backups and they do hold the data, but due to poorly planing, the backups are not a 1-1 copy but an incremental update wille keeping old/moved/deleted data. If this doesn´t work not all is lost, but there will be quite a significant amount of work figuring out what is good data and bad/deleted/moved data. (around 6 months of junk data+ the good data from before) :/ So all fingers crossed. – user58230 Oct 25 '10 at 21:04

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.